Meditation Experiences

A story of Tapa Brata Umah Lu'ung, Dec 5 - 11, 2004

I am one of those persons that do not believe in coincidences. I don’t know how, but I started my meditation with Bali Usada on one Sunday in the month of October 2004. It all happened so fast, just a few e-mails and then I started my weekly regular meditating class at a house in Jl. Cisanggiri – Jakarta. I haven’t finish the regular class [just 6 out of 8 sessions) when I received a struct of luck to enter into a Tapa Brata [TB] intensive class in Ubud, Bali. It later turns out that all these experiences become a very deep experience for me.

In the year 2000, I develop a myom on my utery and cysts on both of my ovary. The doctor gave me some medication to stop the light bleeding that I developed but the bleeding kept on once the medication ran out. By time, there is a heavy pain that I felt on my lower abdomen. It just started with pain during some of my periods, becoming into pain at every month, and then a severe 20 days constant pain each month. And the bleeding is still there. This pain is experienced the whole day and very much disturbed me everywhere I am. I became so dependent to painkiller pills. Such condition gave me additional worries because I became afraid of the side effect of constant and prolonged painkillers usage.

I became an angry person. Each time a friend said: “Be patient. This sickness will bring you blessings in disguise. ‘Enjoy’ your sickess”, I just wanted to scream. So I gave additional problems to myself: sickness, worries and anger. The myom and cysts became bigger day by day. The medication that the doctor gave did not do me any good. The good doctor said to me that: I hope my recommendation is not overly nor lacking, but you need a surgery”. I avoided having this surgery, a decision that is very hard to explain.

When I enter the regular weekly meditating class, around the 4th week, I noticed that my usage of the painkiller has decreased. My meditating friends from the class started telling that their complaints have gotten better. There was this person that had insomnia and can now sleep at night time. There is also a woman that cannot normally defecate everyday and now she cannot finish her ½ hour meditation because she has to go to the restroom! As for myself, at that time I do not dare to hope for much, but I just learn and do the meditation that was taught. I put an open mind to learn …

Questions arise in my mind, such as: Is the technique to feel our own breath and what is called ‘harmonious mind’ is what makes my pain subside? How can it be? How can just noticing our breathing ‘heals’? Those questions are answered when I entered the TB.

As for breathing, in year 1988 I undergo a heart sugery where I stayed for 4 days in the ICCU. During this time, my body is full of tube and hoses that monitors my conditions. One of the machines monitors my heart beat and breathing. This machine makes noises of my pulse. One day, when I was still unconcious, I noticed that the sound that came out of this machine is very loud and flat, not having the rythm of my heart beat. I also noticed that the nurse came running and said: “Miss, don’t forget to breath!”. These words leave a deep memory until now, because how can you forget breathing? Breathing is something that you automatically do – you don’t have to think to do it. But it turns out that it is not so and then I learn that breathing can take you to experiece new things…

During the Tapa Brata in Ubud, another of the luck that I received was that the class is not so big. I felt comfortable in this small class – an all Ladies class – which we then become very friendly with each other. With the ‘daily dose’ of 9 meditation in a day, 2 physical exercises in the morning and afternoon, and 2 lectures, I felt my body so ‘tired’ but at the same time so ‘spirited’. There are several feelings that I experience during the TB, such as the feeling of ‘release’ that the meditation will be over soon, but there is also a ‘sadness’ that the meditation will end; the feeling of ‘pain’ when feeling each part of our own body, but also there is a feeling of ‘relief’…

A special knowledge that I found in TB is that I actually do not ‘know’ my own body and my own self. I have living with myself for 42 years, I thought I can ‘talk’ to myself, and yet the ‘conversation’ was never deep… I learn to know myself better in TB. I learn about changes and how changes are part of our life. In a special way, I learn to become Submissive, and I learn of the Eternal One.

As for my physical body, the myom and cysts are still there. These myom and cysts has taken me to many journeys, and is still destined to accompany me in more journeys. My acceptance of my sickness has become greater than before. I also felt that the pain – which is still there – can be ‘enjoyed’ without the need for painkillers. From “20 days of constant pain each month”, I currently have more than 20 days without significant pain. Until this article is written down, I can have a good night sleep with being awaken because of the pain. God Bless.

The lectures, story telling and songs that pak Merta does give its own ‘color’ to the TB. I enjoyed all of this tremendously. Overall, I felt that the experience in TB is made ‘especially’ for me. That it is my time to do and enjoy the retreat. I hope that this experience can be felt by others and hopefully they will have deeper experience.